Halo: Reach on PC has arrived, and so far, the game has been met with near-universal praise from the PC gaming community (including us). However, while the game as a whole is great, the progression system has garnered a more lukewarm response from the playerbase for a variety of reasons. I think it's a good system overall because it rewards time investment and doesn't have any microtransactions, but there are definitely ways that it could be better. Here are three ideas I had for the progression system that would improve it and make it more player-friendly.
Allow more player choice
Arguably the biggest issue that most people have with the progression system for Halo: Reach on PC is how players are forced to unlock everything in the game on a set, linear path, which prevents you from being able to pick what you unlock and in what order.
While I understand why the current system is how it is, player choice shouldn't be taken away completely.
In the original Halo: Reach on the Xbox 360, you could buy any armor at any time provided you had saved up enough credits. In this version of the game, if there's something specific you want, you have to grind experience levels and rank up until you reach the rank that gives you the desired unlock.
It makes sense why 343 Industries has the current system how it is — it wants to have something that keeps people hooked on playing — but the system shouldn't strip us of our ability to choose completely.
A good compromise to this issue would be to allow players to unlock a specific rank early at the cost of some extra Season Points (currently, each new rank costs a point each). That way, players would have the choice to sacrifice the rate of their linear progression so that they could save up some Season Points and buy the rank that contains the items they want earlier than they normally would be able to.
Give experience for Campaign and Custom Games
Another big issue with the progression system is how zero experience is given to people for finishing Campaign levels or completing matches of Custom Games with their friends. The current system pushes players towards the online matchmade modes, and while it's true that this is where the majority of Halo: Reach's content lies, it's not right to exclude people who just like playing in other modes from being able to unlock items.
The original Halo: Reach rewarded small amounts of credits for completing games in these modes. While the gain was still smaller than what you got from multiplayer (it has to be given the exploitable nature of the modes), it added up over time. Ultimately, Campaign and Custom Games players were still able to unlock everything, and I think that should be the case in Halo: Reach on PC, too.
Bring back Challenges
Finally, bringing back the Challenges system from the original Halo: Reach would do wonders for the current progression system on PC. Challenges rewarded players with bonus credits for accomplishing specific tasks every day (or week), such as getting a certain amount of kills with a specific weapon, beating Campaign levels with specific modifiers enabled, and more.
Challenges allowed players to progress faster by completing special objectives.
This system improved the Halo: Reach experience in two ways. Firstly, it encouraged players to use different weapons or tactics than they normally would, which often helped make the gameplay feel consistently fresh. Secondly, it allowed people to earn the ability to unlock armor faster as a reward for completing their Challenges.
Bringing back the Challenges system would make people feel better about the grind that the current progression system has. While there are ways to maximize your experience gains already, it would be awesome to be able to get bonus experience by playing well and completing your Challenges. Plus, this would add another layer of player choice to the mix, since people would be able to choose whether or not they go for extra experience opportunities.
What do you think of my ideas for improving the progression system on Halo: Reach on PC? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let me know.
Halo: Reach on PC is available now for $10 on both Steam and the Windows 10 Store.
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